The financial data and software company says that the blended – which combines actual results for companies that have reported and estimated results for companies yet to report - earnings growth rate for the S&P 500 for the fourth quarter is 0.7% as of February 7. If this maintains, this will mark the first time the index has reported year-over-year growth in earnings since Q4 2018 (13.3%). “Positive earnings surprises reported by S&P 500 companies have led to a net $8.5 billion increase in earnings for the index since December 31”, FactSet says. The Information Technology sector – with Apple, Microsoft and Intel - is the largest contributor to this increase in earnings, accounting for $5.4 billion of the net $8.5 billion increase (or about 63%). Outside of the Information Technology sector, the positive EPS surprises reported by Alphabet ($15.35 vs. $12.49) and Amazon.com ($6.47 vs. $4.04) were also significant contributors.